This is quite possible my favourite ad from this year.
You probably aren’t wondering why it’s my favourite ad – it’s all kinds of hilarious, great script, great timing, not to mention brilliant quotes (that I will now use whenever someone offers me chips) and it doesn’t hurt that it’s for a good cause.
But maybe you’re wondering why I have a favourite ad.
Something I’ve thought is quite interesting of late is that people now have favourite ads. I was talking to my perpetually nineteen-year-old flatmate the other day about the ad above – and then she told me about her favourite ad, which, honestly, stunned me. I have a favourite ad, because I’m interested in advertising. But she likes Hannah Montana. And a band called LMFAO. So why would she have a favourite ad?
Could it be due to a shift in the way we relate to brands – where it doesn’t matter that our likes, loves and lives are branded (and Coca Cola’s “Share a coke with…” campaign certainly doesn’t dispute this theory) or is it simply that we are now making better ads which are targetting it’s audience via YouTube, where people will share an ad with their friends because it is an effective ad?
It’s said that people don’t hate ads, they hate bad ads – so maybe it’s a case of survival of the fittest in this new media landscape? Advertising must connect with the target audience, who will then pass it on, in order to have an impact.
I think that if it’s the former and we have changed the way we relate to brands, then this most certainly is the perfect time for Facebook’s rollout of it’s verb-based buttons – where all our actions are now branded. But I’m not sure if this is the case – are we happy that brands are part of our identity?
I see this self-branding happening a fair bit with my work, as I see a lot of teenagers on twitter. One thing I’ve noticed with their handles, is that a large percentage of them have usernames which are identifying themselves as a a follower of a certain brand: whether that’s a “Justin Bieber’s Wife”, “Big Brother 4 Eva” or “Mac fanboi” – teenager’s identities seem to be branded more than they used to be. Or is that just being a teenager, and weaving things you love into your life however you can – since we’re not simply limited to putting posters on our walls?
What do you think? Is this just a case of a favourite ad? Or is this a shift in the way we see ourselves?
Zuckerberg announcing new profile at the f8 conference (photo source)
However, what I’m most interested in in a rundown of their new features as they affect Brands running things like Facebook Pages or Apps. Most information will come out in the next few days as people experiment with the features, but these appear to be the highlights:
For Fan Pages
Top Posts vs Most Recent: Posts with more engagement may enter the ‘top posts’ section, with ‘most recent’ being below it. The old News Stream would often hide a breaking news post until it had enough engagement (likes+comments) to warrant becoming part of the “Top Stories.” (via Lost Remote)
Does this mean that a Fan page with less interaction is more likely to be seen? Brian Carter from All Facebook says: “I am waiting for more data to see if yesterday’s changes will reduce the visibility of Facebook page posts to fans. I’ve heard anecdotally that this has happened for some, but we need more data to be sure.” Brian also says: “And the blending of recent and top news means that posting more often may give you an advantage. However, this is dangerous — don’t let the anxiety to post more make you post less engaging content, because that will hurt your feedback rate and could keep your posts from getting into Top News. The idea that posting more frequently will help you assumes that you are hitting an EdgeRank threshold that makes you visible to fans.”
It’s also worthwhile highlighting that Facebook’s algorithm is updated around ‘top posts’ and ‘most recent’ - this adjusts according to how recently people visit Facebook. A post with high interaction for the week might be what appears in someone’s newsfeed if they visit weekly, but they might be more likely to see daily or hourly updates from a Brand if they return multiple times a day.
The new OpenGraph:
According to Mashable: Facebook is launching a new Open Graph for developers to build apps that allow users to share whatever they are doing without overwhelming their friends. It has three key components:
- Apps no longer have to ask for permission to post content to Facebook over and over again. Instead, a new Facebook permissions screen explains exactly what type of stories will be shared the first time you give an app permission to post to your Facebook. Once completed, it will no longer have to ask for permission
- Updates through the new Open Graph appear in the ticker automatically, but do not appear in the News Feed unless it’s an important event. This makes it easy to discover new content from your friends in real time.
- Users can share experiences, such as listening to music, through the new Facebok Open Graph and the ticker.
Facebook divided the types of apps that will be built on its platform into four buckets: Communication, Games, Media and Lifestyle.
All app notifications enter the stream: once you authorize this new level of sharing within an app, everything you do within that context will appear in the real-time ticker on Facebook. Your friends will see these updates in their real-time tickers. There is no ‘share’ button. (via Lost Remote) It also appears that apps may have their own widget with updates on the profile: or so it appears in this video and in the image below – a screenshot from the new profile demo.
Introducing Timeline – Apps
Experiencing online content in realtime: Hulu, Netflix and Washington post have apps which when notifications come up in that a friend is viewing content, the friend can watch the same episode themselves, chatting along with you on Facebook while they watch. Same goes for music (Spotify, etc.) and news (Washington Post, etc.) (via Lost Remote)
The Social Graph has verbs other than ‘Like’: Now you’ll be able to eat a meal, hike a trail, and so on. This means Facebook is adding verbs to the connections — verbs in the social graph, says Mashable. We’ve seen this in the video demos where if a friend is listening to music, you can hit ‘listen’ and listen also. This is pushing word-of-mouth messaging of brands by interacting with content to the forefront – not just Liking status updates.
GraphRank is EdgeRank for Apps: if your friends interact with an app, you’re more likely to see it in your newfeed. (Or at least, this is the way I interpret the post from EdgeRank Checker.)
We just don’t know yet how these changes will impact the way we can communicate with Fans. There if certainly a push towards more realtime app intergration – so will brands without apps be left in the cold?
Brian Carter says about the changes to Facebook: ”Fundamentally, these ranks serve to tell Facebook when to tell your connections about your activities (either as a profile or a page). So if you continue to do things that cause interest and engagement, you will continue to get visibility.”
So at the moment, continue to engage fans and keep track of what is working via analytics and we’ll understand how Fan Pages are affected on Facebook more in time.
Got an update or a better way to explain some of the changes? Chuck em in the comments.
While the video views and celeb involvement from celebrities tweeting in will call this campaign a success from a numbers perspective, and the zany story arcs (including time travel) will definitely push it into meme-territory, I felt it really didn’t live up to expectations (and I’m not talking about Fabio’s awkward acting.)
I felt that this campaign very much dove into the “interactive fiction” realm – wherein the plotline could be dictated by the audience, with parallel stories which didn’t matter which order they were watched in, the only aspects which are concrete to plot are the beginning and end (and in the world of social media where videos are shared independently of each other, ideally, these aspects wouldn’t matter so much or would be easy to access).
However, this second Old Spice campaign didn’t quite pull it off in regards to linking relevant videos together, especially as the ‘related videos’ really wasn’t doing it’s job. I felt that in it’s execution it really struggled to create an easily consumed order to the videos, and it seemed more like putting the videos online in a short turnaround time was more important that any coherency for the audience.
I found it really hard to find the original challenge video and the response, which genuinely felt like I’d walked into a movie in the final scene. There was no promotion or hotlinks to the beginning of the challenge, and it very much felt like if you’d missed the beginning, it didn’t matter, because there’s not turning back now. And while there was a playlist created where the first three videos did reference the beginning of the challenge; it omitted the very first challenge-call by Fabio, which was part of an on-air advertising campaign in the States.
It took me a fair while of searching to actually find the Fabio videos, which didn’t come up as related videos organically, which also meant that challenges couldn’t be compared (for example, the very awesome “I challenge you both to see who can paint a portrait of a kitten with Old Spice body wash the best. Go!” (embedded below. ).
I was surprised there wasn’t a microsite to put challenge videos side-by-side, and even more surprised that there was little-to-no hotlinking between videos, and where there was hotlinking, it looked very much like an afterthought (and only on some videos – and not necessarily on each pair, and hotlinks in different videos had different information – some linked to voting, some didn’t).
It was also very hard to tell which videos had both an Old Spice Guy version and a Fabio version, or which ones were standalone because of this lack of navigation between videos.
I understand that the power of this campaign was in the user interactivity and the somewhat stunning production turnaround time of the video creation, so I understand the shortfall when it came to the usability design.
However, as this is one of the most successful versions of a new kind of interactive fiction, I think it’s a pretty disappointing. There’s a beginning, a whole stack of rich paths to find in the middle, and an end. But finding that beginning, end, or even two related videos in this rich middle is a fair struggle.
I think that having a strategy around adding hotlinks at the end of each video really could have made this a lot more successful. Having the consistant information across each video would have made it a lot easier to navigate, such as ‘see the original declaration of war’, ‘see the related challenge’ and, possibly ‘vote on twitter here’.
I think it would also be great to have something to cement the longevity of it, such as ‘see the winner here’; or as a placeholder prior to the winner being announced, ‘see the winner announced on youtube.com/oldspice on the [date]‘. A link at the end of each video to ‘check out all of eg. Fabio’s videos’ could have also have created a lot more organic traffic, or, even a more effective video tagging on the YouTube videos.
I think it’s a really interesting time for experiments in storytelling across mediums, but I think that we need to set the bar a little higher when we consider the organic nature of sharing on social media and that context is robbed from a video when it is shared on Twitter or Facebook, which, I think, needs to be somehow reintegrated into the standalone products.
Maybe this integration wouldn’t work best as hotlinks; but as a cue, whether it’s a line in a script, a title bar in the video or even in the background graphic of YouTube channel, we need to consider the consumption of these videos both as a whole piece in it’s long-form story arc and also individually in it’s episodic components.
I’d like to think that Old Spice paves the way for more campaigns and storytelling of this kind, however, I’d hope that future stories also learn from what’s missing from a navigation or user-experience perspective.
So, if you missed it, here’s an overview of the whole story arc, which I haven’t seen anywhere on the web yet. Do check out the exceptionally acid-inspired ending to the finale – it’s pretty awesome.
What if we all started being a little more honest in our status updates?
We all know the drill: untag the bad photo, check-in to that cute bar, never post an update on those days when you cant stop crying and all you want to eat is chicken.
We often only share our stories that are positive online. We don’t share the things that hurt us, or scare us: the ramifications of which, I think, are are Stepford society. Everyone is happy and successful. Except us. And no one can relate to us when we have problems: because everyone is happy. We become frustrated and angry when we feel emotions like depression and frustration because we feel weak: we don’t see these emotions around us in the friends we love and respect. We feel like there’s something wrong with us and that we’re all alone.
I’ve been pondering, of late, creating a social site that requires you to fill in four statuses each week, before you can do any other updates: “this week something made me: happy/ hopeful/ sad/ angry.” No, it’s not the full spectrum of emotion, but it feels like a start to break down the barriers of current social networks, where only “here’s me being happy” is reflected.
I think if the site were either anonymous numbers (ie Anonymous0001) or restricted to 5 close friends it could be really useful to act as a support network for people who are experiencing similar issues and share experiences and insights. Ideally, the site could
be sorted by emotion or keyword to see everyone’s emotion from each category; in order to enable this supportive connection.
What do you think? Is this enough to begin breaking down these barriers in perception?
Or should we begin a campaign for Honest August: where to support positive mental health, we encourage people to share emotions on Facebook outside of ‘happy’ and ‘angry’?
Self-service checkouts are the most humiliating thing in the world. There’s the beeping, the staff members rolling their eyes, the dropping money, the torn bags, the humiliation. If self-service checkouts are the way of the future, I’m not that keen.
Let’s put grocery shopping into the year 2011. Here’s a how I’d like to see supermarkets innovate.
I’ve dreamt up a new kind of supermarket. It’s a combination on the ALDI model with online shopping: but it’s not centralized around home-delivery. In fact, it’s more like ordering a pizza. Let’s go for a stroll and I’ll tell you about it.
My grocery store is a takeaway grocery store. It’d be primarily for tech-savvy time-poor young professionals. In an iPhone (or Android or web) app, shoppers select items they would like to pickup later that day. They list the time the expect to arrive at the store to pick it up (either at x time, or ‘I’m on my way!’ ot dissimilar to taxi booking). Set up like a take-away pizza store, customers head to the counter to pick up their groceries.
When they arrive at the store, they check-in to the store Foursquare-esqe. While cash and eftpos would be catered for, mobile-wallets, near-field payments or a credit card synced directly to the app would be the way the transaction would take place. If you share your check-in with facebook, twitter or foursquare you can receive loyalty points, rewards or discounts. The customer then grabs their groceries and head on home. Done!
The waiting room wouldn’t feel as sterile as a pizza store. There’d be a computer where you can either order from scratch or check on your groceries if there’s a line up. If there’s a bit of a wait, you can sit on the couches nearby and order a coffee. There would also the walls covered in canvases from local street artists and music from awesome Aussie bands.
Sounds pretty sweet, right? Hell yes.
So let’s get digital: the store would also have a lot of really cute options which could be integrated into the app. Storing your buying habits, it can offer suggestions like “Usually you’re out of milk by this time… Did you want to double check if you needed any?”.
It remembers your favourite items. Don’t scroll through every cereal in existence. The app ranks your favourite cereals at the top and the rest in alphabetical/brand order.
Nicknames can be applied to food: Awesome chilli noodles. Mum’s gross cereal. That shampoo that John buys because he thinks he’s going bald. You don’t need to remember a brand name and the difference between six slightly different product derivetives.
Send shopping lists to friends or family. If they don’t know the exact product your friend has asked for – they can find it, give it a nickname and send it to you to pick up. No more awkward “do these come in a larger size” moments.
In addition to this, it could sync with the app with recipe sites where you can simply say “order these items” and the ingredients to cook a certain meal would be added to your shopping list (drawn on the infamous “Like” button – with one-click to add the items to your account).
Obviously, promoted specials or recipes could be integrated into the app, in addition to highlighting sale items: “you’ve ordered x cheese, but x is on sale. Do you want to swap your order?”. (And, if nothing else, might be a good way to break even. )
While we’re at it – let’s set geolocative reminders. You don’t want to go shopping now, but know you need to pick up more bread? Geolocation updates will remind you when you’re near the store to pick up some bread. Just order it from your phone and swing by the store.
Now let’s go behind the curtain.
If you submit your order in the morning, or with two hour’s notice, there is either a discount or loyalty points – this is so staff packing the groceries can prepare as many deliveries in advance as possible to reduce waiting time when the inevitable peak-hour rush comes on. The computer which delivers the order to the staff would rank the orders as per priority based on their arrival time. If someone is “heading over now”, their order is bumped up the queue, however, a subsequent ranking looks at who placed their order first. If it appears like there is a backlog of orders, an alert would let the consumer know that there may be a wait and asks whether they’re happy to drop by a bit later (or to hang out and have a coffee.)
When the order is sent through to the staff, the docket is split into the multiple divisions of the store, where staff fill a tray or trolley with that customers’ surname and order code to keep their groceries together. Once the dry goods are packed, that customer’s tray is placed an initial holding area. In this area, all the goods until that point are checked off manually by staff who cross check all the items from the dry goods.
When the customer checks-in to the store, the dairy and cold goods are added to their tray . This customers’ tray is then added to the secondary waiting area, where the frontdesk service staff meet the customers and deliver their groceries to them.
For customers who are more than 2 hours later than their stated pick-up time, a small fee is incurred and, if groceries are not picked up that day without notice, the order is dissolved and 70% of the cost of the groceries is returned to the customer. Cancellation outside of two hours incurs no cost.
All-in-all, the overheads are quite low, it can be run with minimal staff, and stock can be brought in on a just-in-time system and with the back of the store with the simple warehouse layout like ALDI.
In theory, if the store wanted to outsource, it could also have parcels delivered to the store to be picked up with the next time a customer drops into the store.
What do you reckon? Would you swing by my Supermarket of the Future? The supermarket where the only beeping is your phone reminding you to buy That shampoo that John buys because he thinks he’s going bald?
I think it’s been really interesting that over the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk (well, who am I kidding, a lot of memes) about Rebecca Black. Her YouTube clip Friday went viral, resulting in fame in just three short months, which includes being invited to making an appearance at the MTV O Music awards.
I want to discuss is the difference between Rebecca Black’s rise to fame, and Jessi Slaughter‘s infamy. Both of whom have become memes online – but Rebecca has a recording contract, while Jessi’s father has faced criminal charges as a result of his daughter’s online infamy. How did these end up on such different paths?
I believe a key difference in the way that these two entered the online stage, and responded to their new audience was, simply what I will call “online literacy”: understanding how and why online culture works, and knowing how to work it. I’m not saying 13-year-old Rebecca has a magic formula to making videos viral – I’m saying that when the internet did pluck her from anonymity, her response was to play smart and cash in. 11-year-old Jessi responded in the way an 11-year-old would to harassment, but unfortunately, antagonized the wrong people because she didn’t really understand the implications of what she was doing. (Obviously, due to her age, which I will discuss shortly).
Rebecca Black understood how to play the online game. Her family paid a production company to create a YouTube video for her, so she placed herself on the online stage in a very formulated way*. While the video is made a mockery of, she’s a girl who made a decision to make a lame video, and she’s standing by it, playing cool, saying the “haters don’t bother her“. Jessi Slaughter, however, stumbled into the online world, making YouTube videos from the perspective of an eleven-year-old to a small online community, lashing out at anyone who attacked her. The result was that the online community, in particular, 4Chan, believed this girl needed to be taught a lesson in manners, which translated in to a string of real-world pranks. Jessi’s family, however, don’t understand this online culture, nor were they aware what her daughter was doing online. They didn’t understand how to use the internet, nor why they were being attacked, exhibited in the meme-tastic, “We’ve called the cyberpolice”. In fact, even as the family were being interviewed by media about the harassment and police intervention, Jessi’s mother still had no idea that her daughter had even made online videos.
One of the biggest issues here, is that the most naive members of our society, are also the most information rich regarding this new form of media. We have eleven-year-olds who can make videos for the world to see, more fluently and faster than people in their twenties, thirties, fourties, fifties. The response to try to combat young people using technology has been to lock social networks down for kids under 13, such as Facebook. Cyberbullying help buttons on Facebook have been implemented in the US but the reality is that there are more than enough online communities for preeteens to explore outside of these places, which are unmonitored.
The issue is that adults are aware of some of the dangers of the online world, especially those of a predatory nature, but don’t understand enough about navigating the online space to encourage or support healthy relationships with people online, including strangers such as people on forums, on twitter, in chat rooms, on chatroulette. All of the cyber safety information I see is about ‘what if someone tries to friend you on Facebook’ and completely overlooks the literacy needed around conversing with online-only friends in all these other spaces, or even, what is really the case with these teens, online reputation management.
Schools will palm it off to parents. Parents will palm it off to teachers. The reality is, that in general, both these groups are as likely to be as confused as each other.
It’s funny, that for a piece of technology which has grown so quickly as part of our everyday lives, there is a vast number of people who still really have no idea how to use it – my favourite example being Read Write Web’s ‘Facebook Login redesign article saga‘, it beg the question – what if we were allowed on the roads without driving lessons?
We need to recognise that there are a lot of people who don’t understand the basics of how the internet works and are forced to learn on the fly. However the nature of the internet is that these interactions are in a public space and people make mistakes which most of the time, no one cares about. But in the case of teens like Jessi Slaughter, public mistakes can lead to some very serious consequences.
What do you think? How should be address the lack on online literacy in our communities? Schools? Parents? Community-based workshops? Training manuals which come with new computers? Or, would a great big internet delete button be a better approach during people fumbling about on the internet? Let me know – I’d love to begin to seriously think about way to challenge this issue.
*Interesting, one of the other girls in the Friday video has also received harassment online from her role. See how well presented her response is (Y’know, despite her ramblings about Justin Bieber, her braces and her driveway length in the middle)?
Yesterday I headed to Ad:Tech in Sydney to check out the keynote “The Future of Television“. It had a really interesting panel, which consisted in a group which right across the spectrum of television as we know it now (and how we could know it in the future). Representatives were from television production company, Shine360, Broadcasters Nine and SBS, Freeview Australia, and thrown in for good measure was a representative from Sony and Microsoft.
Part of the discussion I enjoyed the most was the look at what television means - and the perspective of whether ‘television’ means something in your loungeroom, or something mobile. While it’s evident that society would generally deem ‘television’ as any screen you can carry in your pocket, the presenters on the panel emphasised that until metrics from viewers online are classified as ‘ratings’, then small-screen viewing simply won’t be counted as television from an industry perspective.
One presenter pointed out*, Broadcasters would care more about the”screen” if mobile interaction counted as ratings. “Music industry didn’t care about digital until online sales existed – so until these metrics become tangible in regards to the business, they have no impact.”
And, let’s face it, this won’t happen any time soon with industry regulations being different across free-to-air and pay tv, which is amplified by the fact that online and mobile aren’t even classified as Broadcast according to Industry bodies.
Sony representative, Paul Colley, estimated that 50% of all TVs currently being sold are internet-capable, and this figure could be 80% of all televisions within three to four years’ time. The legal and regulatory questions around accountability of this content need to be addressed very soon in order to keep pace with technology, or we might find ourself in a situation where what we would classify today as “broadcast media” entirely without regulation.
One of the other debates I found most interesting was how to engage those viewers who increasingly want to interact with their television shows. This is, in reference to appointment television – this is not a question of whether people want to choose what they want to watch as per torrenting and YouTube, but a question for when people do want their viewing on shuffle**.
It’s no secret that people are more and more interacting with television via a second device, whether it’s checking in, tweeting about it or discussing it with friends on Facebook.
The real question around this issue was how we interact with television: do we just want to converse around the show online, or want a deeper immersion?
The fine line between interaction needs to be balanced: how can we create an interactive environment to work with a show, not taking it over? How do we have a Twitter feed integrated with the show, without the amusing tweets taking centre stage?
A discussion I had with some friends outside the conference led to the discussion around how you could sync a mobile device and television so that they could work separately or concurrently (for example, could the tv show be broadcasting and additional interactive content work concurrently on an iPad? Could it be tweets, video extras, polls, ability to purchase items from that moment in the show, all sent out – and interactive – at the same time as the show? Could there be episode specific content, even when it’s a rerun?)
Iain MacDonald presented an awesome pic (the closest thing to it I could get was the image above) in the opening statement got me thinking: why do these devices need to be complementary? When would technology be available to sync all mobile computer devices in a room so that if I’m tweeting on one device, the television can optionally support additional content?
A fair point was raised that “multitasking” is a misnomer, where watching tv and reading email was not the activity of doing both at the same time, but switching your attention from one to the other. The ramifications of this is that the interaction work best if limited simply around ‘conversation’ rather than actually shifting the storyline, as per experiments of interactive television in the past decade.
The debate also launched into gamification of shows (and the revenue stream it could provide) and whether shifting shows into an experience would be a viable option – such as ‘playing’ the Biggest Loser, while you watch it, a suggested by Microsoft’s Kordahi.
There’s a fine line with interactivity around ‘forcing’ interaction, the panelist pointed out, where people switch off if they are instructed ‘how’ to interact, but the model should be to provide the tools, observe the behaviours of how people interact using those tools.
The Grey’s Anatomy iPad app could be the first reflection of networks taking advantage of this secondary-device behaviour, which both gamifies and creates a secondary revenue stream for traditional television long term. Do television networks need to begin owning that secondary space?
As Kordahi stated regarding mobile devices, “People don’t want to watch what’s on TV on a smaller screen, they want a companion app.” – which might very much be the case.
But, in the end, the same issue still applies: the metrics don’t exist to encourage traditional media to attempt these models and the laws and regulations aren’t in place to protect either the viewers or broadcasters attempting this.
What do you think? The question of if we should adapt is long gone, but it’s still very pertinent to ask ‘how?’ and ‘why?’.
What do you think – are ‘companion apps’ the way of television watching in the future? Or, with most of Australia’s broadcast being content which has often already broadcast in the US, would this model simply not be applicable?
Till next time,
*Apologies, I was live tweeting so I didn’t have a chance to reference all the quotes. If you know, let me know so I can credit y’all.
** To reference a fabulous quote from my nineteen-year-old flatmate: “Television is like YouTube on shuffle.” Gold!
I’m kind of astounded that there are still articles popping up which are astounded that Digital Natives can use a computer, and that that online communication could possibly be a translation of real-world communication. I mean, it’s only 2011.
I thought it was a while ago that we realised that online culture is simply a translation of the activities we do offline. The way we interact with social connections, public messages, private messages, ways to convey status (social check-ins, relationship status, flattering photos), and emotions (sure, emoticons aren’t perfect, but they do exist for a reason: to convey information which is traditionally non-verbal.) are all direct translations for the way we behave in the real world. The motivations are all the same: make friends. Be loved.
Admittedly, the most frequently used online systems don’t necessarily reflect this transition from online to real world perfectly, however, we work with what we have. Facebook, for example, provides updates to people publically across multiple networks, instead of select friend groups, which is how we interact in real life. (Check out @padday’s awesome The Real Life Social Network presentation which explores this.)* However, this is the medium which is very much the norm today in regards to relating to friends and family.
I read an article earlier today which discusses teens ‘using code‘ to express the way they feel online. It’s possible that this research is more layered that the article implied, however, to me it reads like the author didn’t realise that parents have been prying in the lives of their teens since the dawn of time. Facebook doesn’t change that. If teenagers didn’t write letters to their best friends in code, or talk around an issue on the family shared phone in years gone by, I’ll eat my hat. I think this research reflects that people communicate in the same ways that they always have across time. It’s seems to be yet another case of ‘because it’s on the internet, it’s new’. But communication is still communication, irrespective of medium.
Secondly, it seems that there an assumption that teens can’t navigate online spaces. It feels a little like the world operated on this assumption that Gen Y are stupid and superficial because these updates are publically available (as opposed to, perhaps, in one’s diary?) Sure, teens might me more comfortable having conversations in public than other generations, but studies have shown that teens are more aware of the things they put online and are more likely to self-censor than other groups**.
Yep, a new online way of communicating has developed, (using lolspeak and the like), but this is no different to the slang of other generations. Emoticons exist, to replace the non-verbal cues we usually receive when we communicate in person.
How can we judge a generation for posting comments about their personal lives in public and developing a language to suit the online environment we’re in, when our culture expects we be fluent in this form of communication?
It’s nothing new that teens hide information from their parents. It’s nothing new that they need to do this in a public sphere. It’s nothing new that they communicate with their friends.
It’s 2011. We’re not cyborgs. We’re not raised in factories. We still communicate with our friends and loved ones (and hide things from friends and loved ones ).
Or… did I just step out of a parallel universe and haven’t found my bearings yet?
Keep it real guys,
*Yes, we could set filters and sort friends into groups, but, I’ll admit, I can’t bring myself to go through my friends list and sort people mainly because I don’t want to humiliate myself with realising the number of people I have on my Facebook who I met once at a party and I stumbled away exclaiming “YES! I AM TOTALLY ON FACEBOOK! LET’S HANG OUT!” and still to this day have neither hung out with them, nor gleaned a solid recollection of them.
** I’ve totally read this but can’t find a reference right now. Let me know if you have one lying around!
It’s the time of year we all channel our inner Timelord and make predictions about the coming year. Pretty game, I reckon, in a time when every year for the past four years has been “the year of the mobile”. Nonetheless, I was intrigued when I read that 2011 will be the year the ordinary social network user will experience Social Schizophrenia.
While social media schizophrenia (the overload of multiple social profiles) is nothing new to tech mavens, it will become something that more and more “average” users experience as they tweet, Facebook, G-mail, chat, Skype, BBM, SMS, and Tumble their way across the social web. While many mavens have adopted ways to manage and cope, average users may find themselves at the beginning of the curve in need of a 12-step social identity program.
For a niche group, this concept of balancing multiple profiles and identities online is not new. I believe the issue is not the adjustment of how people manage these multiple profiles, as touched on by HBR (“This may lead to increased demand from typical participants to have a more integrated and simplified social graph and an opportunity for platforms and companies alike to meet this demand.”) as people already know what it is to manage multiple identities (friend, sibling, child, colleague, partner). I don’t believe this is a big shift in culture. It is potentially a shift in computer literacy, but I believe it will be an organic shift, as the addition to SMS, email and Facebook and Skype have been over the past decade.
I think the shift that people will experience is not of a split identity online, but of people fufilling different purposes in an online ecosystem. This isn’t about whether you’re a friend or sibling [Facebook], colleague [Linked In], or a friend from afar [Tumblr/Youtube/Twitter]; but the role you play of each of these places.
On Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter, you can play multiple roles in the online ecosystem. Think of this as more the tasks which are undertaken rather than the side of yourself you reveal – sharing a funny story, snapping a photo of a local event or emergency, or sharing your experience with a product/film/event/venue which you may or may not recommend. I think the Social Schizophrenia will come from individuals balancing content for different audiences. Divisions of how to represent oneself in regards to their role online will become more complicated, with grey lines of citizen journalism, being internet famous (even if its created in strange ways like the infamous @its_k_isabella), or being the go-to person for information on a certain topic in real-time. In addition to being ourselves online, we will provide a services to our community through these tasks we undertake – which I will call online citizenship, for the lack of a better term at this point in time.
Like Wikipedia empowered the average person to share their knowledge and that they, too, could be experts in whatever they were passionate about*; this shift in Social Schizophrenia will change the way the average person sees themselves online – they aren’t simply individuals sharing their stories online, but part of a community. This community and roles in communities is something we’ve seen with Twitter thusfar; but possibly this will shift mainstream.
This is not to make the assumption that every person will take on a visibly active in their online citizenry (how many people actively edit or write in Wikipedia? Or answer a question on Ask.com? Looking at Gravity7′s outline of online personas, this is most certainly not on the cards), but the potential for this new community perspective will be available. I might not edit Wikipedia: but that is my choice. This is in the same way that our culture has shifted to believe information is a right** (look at the strong case for and against Assange’s Wikileaks), that having something freely available creates the expectation in society that this is the norm.
In this vein, we will have the potential to see ourselves not just as an online representation of ourselves: but a news source, a reviewer, a moderator, a mentor. We will be both a source of information as much as an expression of our thoughts and feelings in order to contribute to the community. That is the shift I believe we will see – whether this will happen in 2011 or not, we are yet to find out.
I think that this layer or citizenship will potentially be taken up in greater numbers by the younger generation, to whom civics and citizenship are unfamiliar in the model they have existed in in the past – the rights gained and things once fought for are a very foreign thing.
The understanding will be ‘helping a mate out’ is more likely to be the way this is interpreted (whether they have met the person “in real life” or not); however, the combination of a cultural shift where people ‘help a mate out’ will evolve into a subculture; a culture; and then a new form of online etiquette: civic duty.
What do you reckon? Will the roles played in social channels be more important than the volume of social channels used? Do you think that the use of online social channels in themselves will create Social Skitsophrenia, or it is the tasks therein that will cause the stress?
I’d love to hear your thoughts – hook me up.
*Obviously, being backed up by multiple sources is always awesome.
I know it’s a little early to be making a Christmas List for 2011, but I figured I’d better get in before anyone else. And so you, y’know, can prepare. Because it’s a pretty epic list.
I know that online shopping is what all the cool kids are doing, but as the awesome eBay ads around Sydney point out – sometimes you need to see and touch something before buying it. And in this vein, I don’t think IRL Shopping is going to disappear anytime soon.
So, my wishlist is around the kind of things I’d like to be using at Christmas in 2011 when I’m shopping. Because, I’ll admit it, shopping this year was a bit of a saga, and I’ll be honest, I’m pretty over it.
When we talk about shopping and technology, we always touch on things like being able to scan barcodes to buy items and turn on augmented reality to see deals – but here’s a few more things, Santa, that I’m after:
I want see a Navman on my mobile for shopping centres, which can lead me to the store I want to find. None of this Gruen Transfer fusspotty stuff (yes, I’m looking at you Bondi Junction Westfield).
I want to be able to scan a barcode in the supermarket and find out the ingredients and see the ingredients list (and I want it to alert me if it contains any of the items my friends or I are allergic to. Because Christmas dinner is no fun if you’re the only one who can eat.)
I want to be able to get lost looking for something in a department store and geotag a tweet for help: I want an assistant will find me and help me. (Admittedly, it might need to be something a little more specific than a Geotag, but Santa, I’m sure you can work something out )
I want to be able to search an item and I receive map of all the stores in my vicinity which have that item (and if they’re in stock).
Geolocation alerts for friends and family based on Social Check-ins (If the person I’m buying a present for is in the same shopping centre, I want to be able to make a sly exit.)
Gift recommendation engine: Like Etsy’s cute gift recommendation quiz; I’d like to be able to scan a friend’s social feed for the year for links to products and create recommendations for the kind of items they like; or the items they’ve announced they need or want.
Annnnnd while were at it – I want to tweet my barista on route to my coffee shop it’s ready when I arrive. I’d also like my coffee to be paid from my credit card or straight from phone bill. (This isn’t really a Christmas thing – but when do you need coffee more that Chrissy shopping?! …But if you can arrange this one before Christmas, that would be sweet! )
I swear I’m not trying to put you out of a job, Santa, but this stuff would be pretty sweet to have next year. (But if you do find yourself in the Centrelink queue, I will totally deersit for you!)